Matt Christie analyses Anthony Joshua v Dillian Whyte and picks a winner – in this week’s issue of Boxing News magazine.
THINGS just got interesting. Not only is there a grudge to settle between unbeaten British heavyweights Anthony Joshua and Dillian Whyte when they clash at the O2 on Saturday night, there is also – following Tyson Fury’s astonishing coronation – a massive opportunity for the winner to join the revolution that is sweeping through the division. This showdown comes at an extra cost to the consumer of course, with the controversial decision – two weeks after we had to pay for Fury-Wladimir Klitschko – to put the event on the Sky Box Office pay-per-view platform. And while that was always going to annoy hardcore fans who feel that a domestic scrap between two unproven prospects should not be on pay per view (and I agree), the move was a wholly understandable one given that tickets sold out within hours. The bottom line is that if there is a demand to buy something then it will be put up for sale, and you can bet that plenty will pay the £16.95 fee to watch the action at home.
The concern, and it’s a valid one, is that this will be no contest at all, and that Olympic champion Joshua – a 1-14 favourite – will walk through Whyte in much the same manner he has all of his previous 14 professional opponents. The 8-1 underdog thinks he has an ace up his sleeve – it’s one he’s had tucked there for six years – and it’s the sole reason why this has been allowed to morph from an appealing collision between two up-and-comers into a showbiz-a-licious event: Whyte has beaten Joshua before. However, this is no Joe Frazier-Muhamad Ali II.